Charlottesville Competing in National Hunger Grant Challenge
Charlottesville is competing with 20 other cities - from Chicago to Vegas - to win a big-dollar grant that would help feed hungry kids. The challenge starts this week.
It's a competition but this challenge to combat hunger is also about collaboration. Charlottesville will get to work with all the cities it's competing against to develop programs for kids whose families struggle to put food on the table.
A delegation from city council, the schools, and parks and recreation will travel to Washington D.C. Wednesday. Along with reps from those other cities, they'll brainstorm new programs to get nutritious meals to kids when they're not in the school cafeteria.
Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos said, "One of the things we're looking at is using local foods. You can use congregate meals. You can have family get-togethers to talk about nutrition and cooking. And how food is something that builds strong body and minds and really make it a community builder and not just a way to put food in hungry bellies."
The leadership academy lasts two days. When it's done, nine of the 21 competing cities will receive grants up to $60,000 to implement their proposed programs.
Szakos says even if Charlottesville doesn't win a grant, the city will have access to all the ideas from the academy and technical support to develop similar programs.
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